WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today announced the introduction of new legislation that would authorize $100 million in additional annual funding for youth summer jobs programs like Baltimore’s YouthWorks.
The Youth Summer Jobs and Public Service Act (S. 2036) would direct five years of federal funding to communities with high concentrations of low-income youth to support the expansion and development of summer employment programs that provide meaningful opportunities linked to academic and occupational learning.
Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.-02) cross-filed legislation in the House of Representatives.
“Next week, Baltimore’s YouthWorks program will provide more than 8,000 Baltimore youth with an opportunity to learn valuable job skills, gain confidence in a workplace, and have a more safe and stable environment over the summer,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m proud to introduce the Youth Summer Jobs and Public Service Act to provide youth employment programs across the country with additional funding to help eliminate their unmet needs.”
“For years, the Baltimore YouthWorks program has provided thousands of young people with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience over the summer, ultimately helping them get future jobs and boost the economy. This legislation will help Baltimore and communities across the country build on and expand the success of these programs,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I’m proud to help introduce this bill, and I will continue working in the Senate to improve economic opportunity for all Americans.”
The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development operates the YouthWorks program, which provides meaningful employment opportunities for Baltimore youth in private businesses, local community nonprofit organizations, and city and state government agencies throughout the city.
For the 2019 YouthWorks session that begins next week, more than 8,000 Baltimore youth aged 14-21 participating in the program will have a job for five days a week, five hours per day, from July 1st through August 2nd. They will be paid a minimum of $10.10 per hour for their service.
According to the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, more than 14,000 Baltimorean youth applied for positions with YouthWorks this summer. In 2018, the YouthWorks program offered 8,600 young people employment at more than 900 worksites across Baltimore.
The Youth Summer Jobs and Public Service Act provides additional federal funding to boost youth participation in summer employment programs. The bill would:
- Create the Summer Employment for Youth grants under the Department of Labor to allow states to compete for funding to support existing and develop new youth summer employment programs in communities with large concentrations of eligible, low-income youth.
- Require that the summer employment opportunities funded under the grant be directly linked to academic and occupational learning.
- Require states to provide grants to communities whose youth summer employment programs partner with private businesses and prioritize work opportunities that directly serve the community, such as through local community non-profits or city and state agencies.
- Authorize $100 million per year for the grant program from Fiscal Year 2020 through Fiscal Year 2024.